Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium) Picture


This unique Staghorn Fern (Platycerium) is my picture of the week, and these beautiful and unique ferns are found throughout Malaysia, Borneo and Southeast Asia.

In total, there are about 18 species of staghorn ferns found around the world while this region shares some of the more unique ferns coming from the family of polypod. 

In Malaysia, these staghorn ferns are also called Tanduk Rusa ferns in the Malay language, which actually means deer's horns.

Staghorn Fern (Platycerium) Malaysia

The staghorn ferns are also usually found in tropical countries growing on the high rainforest canopy, and at times, easily spotted when you look up.

For those who enjoy traveling, hiking and nature walks around this region, you are bound to come across these unique plants on your explorations.

While the staghorn ferns look beautiful as decorative plants, they are not easy to care for. They need to be under shade and watered daily.

I have been an avid collector of these kind of ferns for many years now and have about four types or species in care.

This was actually a passion that was picked up during my adventures in the many rainforest of Malaysia and Borneo since the late 90s.

I still have a very soft spot when it comes to these kind of of plants especially when it comes to the rare types especially the Tanduk Kijang or Platycerium Ridleyii. These look like the fronds are growing the other way around.

Staghorn Fern Platycerium Ridleyii or Tanduk Kijang (Rare type)

Close up of the staghorn fern fronds

For those who love gardening or exploring some of these unique rainforest plants, you should read up and do research on them first.

First attempts to cultivate these oddly-shaped ferns may end in disaster but it is all in the learning process.

To see some of the beautiful staghorn ferns and other unique air plants, check out the Air Plants Malaysia Instagram account.

Conclusion

The Tanduk Rusa fern is also displayed at flower shows around the world, and is usually featured at the Floria Putrajaya Flower and Garden Exhibition held yearly in Malaysia.

Another place that you will find some of these unique plants on display is at the Rainforest Discovery Center or RDC in Sabah Borneo.

I am always thrilled to visit these flower exhibitions as one never knows what new species or type of Staghorn Fern (Platycerium) they will feature there. 

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